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The American President Watches Too Many Clint Eastwood Movies.

About a month before I left teaching, for good and all, we staff had a training about active shooters. It was the first time I'd been shown Run, Hide, Fight. Before then it was simply Lock-down. Mind you, I got into teaching before Columbine, and aside from earthquake drills, the most danger my generation faced at school was nuclear fallout from an attack by an increasingly deteriorating U.S.S.R., (an issue I will add, that was a clear and present danger being actively handled by the highest levels of government on a minute by minute basis).

Everyone believed Columbine was a one-off, even though there was a shooting at a local high school in 2001. But Sandy Hook changed how I looked at my job, forever. As the tense conversation in this training detailed this RHF, I realized I was fucked- doomed to become fodder for a madman. Due to my knee, I can't run fast or for long. So I looked about me for decent shelter, but knowing the capacity of semi-automatic rifles because of my research done for my novel, even an upturned desk or filing cabinet was no adequate shield at near point-blank range for an AR-15, the assault rifle I write about in my novel. Then I looked around me for something to fight back with, like Chinese throwing stars or a Gatling gun in order to put this hypothetical madman down. But all I found were staplers, pencils and paper, or a tape dispenser. And I'm no MacGyver. I'm also no bulletproof hero, I just write about them in my novels. That's when it became unassailably clear to me, "I didn't sign up for this shit." If I wanted to get shot at and tote a fucking gun, or be around those who did, I would have been in the military or become a cop. I got into teaching because it used to be safe, literally and figuratively. And this straw-man debate about arming teachers is meant only to distract from doing the real work of getting millions of military-grade weapons out of the public's hands. Needless to say, I can't begin to tell you what that RHF training did to my blood pressure and stress levels, but at the Universe's earliest convenience I didn't walk away from teaching, never to return, I fucking ran. My right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, trumps the 2nd Amendment, period. #gunreformnow #NeverAgain #Ididntsignupforthis